http://vimeo.com/92080541

e Card from First Presbyterian Church, Davenport, Iowa. This is the first church I served out of seminary. I was the Associate Pastor responsible for Christian Education and Youth programming

A Prayer for Pastors on Easter by Brian McLaren

http://brianmclaren.net/archives/2013/03/

Found this wonderful prayer in the archives of Brian McLearn, March 31, 2013

A prayer for pastors on Easter

Dear Lord, I pray for all the pastors today Who will feel enormous pressure to have their sermon Match the greatness of the subject and will surely feel they have failed. (I pray even more for those who think they have succeeded.)

Help them to know that it is enough Simply and faithfully to tell the story Of women in dawn hush … Of men running half-believing … Of rolled stones and folded grave-clothes … Of a supposed gardener saying the name of a crying woman … Of sad walkers encountering a stranger on the road home … Of an empty tomb and overflowing hearts.

Give them the wisdom to know that sincere humility and awe Surpass all homiletic flourish On this day of mysterious hope beyond all words.

Make them less conscious of their responsibility to preach, And more confident of the Risen Christ Who presence trumps all efforts to proclaim it.

Considering all the Easter choirs who will sing beautifully, and those who won’t, And all the Easter prayers that will soar in faith, and those that will stumble and flounder, And all the Easter attendance numbers and offering numbers that will exceed expectations And those that will disappoint … I pray they all will be surpassed by the simple joy Of women and men standing in the presence of women and men, Daring to proclaim and echo the good news: Risen indeed! Alleluia!

For death is not the last word. Violence is not the last word. Hate is not the last word. Money is not the last word. Intimidation is not the last word. Political power is not the last word. Condemnation is not the last word. Betrayal and failure are not the last word. No: each of them are left like rags in a tomb, And from that tomb, Arises Christ, Alive.

Help the preachers feel it, And if they don’t feel it, help them Preach it anyway, allowing themselves To be the receivers as well as the bearers of the Easter News. Alleluia!

 

 

“What’s Good About That?” by Dan Hotchkiss

As an advocate for asset-based leadership, I found the article by Dan Hotchkiss helpful.  As a pastor I believed in building on congregational strengths.  But was I asking the right questions?  The questions I might find myself asking: What’s working?  What’s satisfying?  What’s going well?  But was I asking the right questions?    I like the framework of the the question that Hotchkiss asks:  “What influence would we like our faith to have in the community today, and how can we gather a community of leaders who can make that happen?”  I encourage you to read the Alban Institute article:  http://www.congregationalconsulting.org/whats-good-about-that/